England’s 0-0 draw with Slovakia was underwhelming to say the least.
The Three Lions knew that a win would guarantee top spot but, after their stalemate and Wales’ emphatic 3-0 victory over Russia, it meant that Roy Hodgson’s side progressed as group runners-up.
Wales know that they will now face a side that finished third in their group in the last-16 while England will now face the runners-up of Group F - which could be Hungary, Portugal, Iceland or Austria.
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Ahead of the clash with Slovakia, Hodgson made six changes from the side that beat Wales in dramatic circumstances. One of the players making their first appearance in the competition was Nathaniel Clyne.
The Liverpool right-back has had to contend with a place on the bench during the opening two matches of the tournament with Kyle Walker given a place in the starting XI.
Walker performed well against Russia and was voted Man of the Match for his display against Wales.
However, Clyne was given his opportunity on Monday night against Slovakia and produced an accomplished performance during the 90 minutes.
Daily Mail's tweet
Despite being, arguably, England’s best performer on the night, former referee Graham Poll wrote in his Daily Mail column that Clyne had "cost" England, while the Daily Mail tweeted the link with the headline: “Nathaniel Clyne cost #ENG the penalty they were desperate for by keeping his feet.”
Poll was talking about an incident when Clyne burst into Slovakia’s box and stayed on his feet when he was clipped by a defender before taking a shot.
Twitter has reacted furiously to the Daily Mail’s tweet pointing out that Clyne had produced a brilliant performance and shouldn’t be criticised for being honest.
Check out some of the best tweets:
And so on...
Clyne has now given Hodgson a selection headache ahead of their last-16 clash. Many believed that Walker had been preferred due to his superior ability going forward but Clyne demonstrated he is equally effective in attack.
But whether Clyne can earn a starting berth for the knockout phase remains to be seen. Ahead of the match with Wales, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson made a staggering claim about Walker’s performances so far.
"I don't blame Roy Hodgson for this one bit [resting Walker] - it's a good move to give players a rest, especially Kyle Walker - my god - he's been the best player at the tournament so far. He's been absolutely phenomenal,” he said.
Whether it’s Clyne or Walker in the right-back position, they will need to be at their very best if the Three Lions are to go all the way in France this summer. After finishing second in Group B, their route to the final could now be Portugal, France, Germany and Spain.
But one thing is clear, Clyne certainly didn’t ‘cost’ England the game against Slovakia.
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